CCNA - Self Study?

FirecellFirecell Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
I have limited experience with networking and the IT field.

Can you self-study and pass the CCNA exam? Or would you recommend attending a Boot Camp?


  • earweedearweed Member Posts: 5,192 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I'd recommend self study. I'm taking my test soon and pretty confident I've got the material down. The Odom books are dry but they're (in my opinion) the best source to use. The Lammle book is an easier read but not quite as well fleshed out (you'll need to use other sources with it). Do some labbing with packet tracer or GNS3 or even better with real equipment. If you go the 2 test route packet racer is plenty for the first test.
    Good luck in your studies!
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Member Posts: 661 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I am doing just fine studying for it on my own. I would have loved to do the network academy but I can't afford to be away from my wife and kid two-three days a week in the evenings. I studied for 2.5-3 months for CCENT and passed with a very good score. Now I am starting ICND2. I think you should be just fine if you get the right amount of resources and put in the time to lab it up!

    I am very lucky and have been able to get a lot of resources. I am using cbt nuggets, Cisco press, a couple sim's and a home lab.

    If you don't have much experience I recommend doing the CCENT first. It will give you a solid foundation to grow on.
  • MrBrianMrBrian Member Posts: 520
    You can do it through self-study as long as you push yourself. You have to be a self-motivated person. You just have to be prepared for your brain to hurt lol. When that annoying feeling of not understanding something hits you, don't let anxiety stop you. Just keep plugging away and hitting the information from different angles and it will start to sink in. There's so much covered in the CCNA especially if you don't have any experience. If you do plenty of reading and manage to do labs on real-equipment or simulators you can do it.
    Currently reading: Internet Routing Architectures by Halabi
  • l!ghtl!ght Member Posts: 48 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Firecell wrote: »
    I have limited experience with networking and the IT field.

    Can you self-study and pass the CCNA exam? Or would you recommend attending a Boot Camp?

    I did it through self-study learning everything from scratch. :D
    Jesus saves!
  • lrblrb Member Posts: 526
    Yeah doing a course for 5-days a week is a real information overload - especially when it's all new stuff to you. Grab the Cisco Press books, a few routers and switches off eBay and you'll be much better off for the experience with the self-study path.

    When I passed, I use the Cisco Press books and CBT nuggets, plus the home lab which I'd built for my CCNA. Best of luck on your studies man!
  • EildorEildor Member Posts: 444
    Save your money -- do it on your own.
  • Joshuab009Joshuab009 Member Posts: 67 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I agree. On your own. With the assistance of the web of course.
  • b1acktigerb1acktiger Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Self Study is the best way to understand the topics, We have the Internet, and a few members who are willing to help. Move on
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124

    I've taken Cisco classes at a community college, then after 7-8 months I decided to self study (refresh) for 2 weeks and just barely missed the 640-802 the first time. Scored a 796.
    I skipped a simulation thinking I could go back (used to Microsoft exams), and it screwed me over.

    Under a time crunch, I went to a BootCamp to give myself a week away from distraction, and to see if there was anything I wasnt quite getting.
    My result, well I passed with near perfect score, but it was a huge waste of money. Every day, I kept thinking, yes I know, yes I know, yes I know.
    I should have just saved my money studied some more, and tried again.

    Bootcamps are expensive, I would suggest you invest in classes, or buy/create your own lab. has kits for sale, or you can buy them off ebay or amazon.

    personally I dont think you need them for the CCNA level, you can just get PacketTracer and it simulates the switches/routers.

    best of luck to you!


    PS- my coworker self-studied and passed first try. If you self-study, watch the videos, and read the book from end to end, you'll learn ALOT more than you would sitting in a class and going through labs in a book, and slides from a teacher. Just an FYI.
    nerd power.
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